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Howze v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 14, 2019


          Assigned on Briefs July 9, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 10-02660 James M. Lammey Jr., Judge

         A Shelby County jury convicted the Petitioner, Quincy Howze, of aggravated robbery, and the trial court sentenced him as a Range II offender to serve twenty years at 100%. The Petitioner appealed his convictions and sentence to this court, and we affirmed the judgments. State v. Quincy Howze, No. W2014-02449-CCA-R3-CD, 2015 WL 9173701 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Jackson, Dec. 15, 2015), perm. app. denied (Tenn. May 6, 2016). The Petitioner filed a timely petition for post-conviction relief, which the post-conviction court denied after a hearing. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court's judgment.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Terrell L. Tooten, Cordova, Tennessee, for the appellant, Quincy Howze.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Jose Franscisco Leon, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.



         I. Facts and Background

         This case originates from the Petitioner's robbery of a man in the parking lot of a liquor store in Memphis, Tennessee.

         A. Trial

          The following is a summary by this court of the facts presented at trial:

Cory Minga, the owner of F & G Liquors . . . testified that in addition to selling liquor, the store's business also included cashing checks. On July 22, 2009, around 9:00 a.m., Mr. Minga was working when a customer with whom he was acquainted, John McGee (the victim), entered the store and cashed a check. Shortly thereafter, the victim re-entered the store, pale-faced and shaken, and informed Mr. Minga that he had just been robbed in the parking lot. Mr. Minga called 9-1-1 and reported the robbery. Upon questioning by the 9-1-1 operator, Mr. Minga began to relay the answers supplied by the victim, but he then passed the telephone to the victim so that he could answer the questions directly. Mr. Minga recalled that the victim described the gunman as being a young, skinny black male. Officers from the Memphis Police Department ("MPD") subsequently arrived and gathered information from both men regarding the robbery.
Mr. Minga stated that the store was equipped with video surveillance cameras. The recording captured the incident in its entirety. Mr. Minga explained that [the Petitioner] first drove past the liquor store and then backed his car into the parking lot. When the victim exited the store, [the Petitioner] walked up behind him before the victim could enter his truck. Mr. Minga said that [the Petitioner] drove a black four-door car with chrome wheels and mirror-tint on all windows except for the driver's window. Prior to that time, Mr. Minga had never seen a vehicle matching that description in the area of his store. He saw the same car the following week as it was driving down Belt Line Street and turning onto Southern Avenue. Mr. Minga was on the telephone with MPD Officer Veronica Crutchfield at the time, and he indicated to the officer that he had just seen the vehicle. Officer Crutchfield and her partner, Officer Jason Randolph, had responded to the scene of the robbery. Based on that information, [the Petitioner] was subsequently apprehended.
The victim testified that on the morning of the robbery, he checked his post office box and then drove to the store to cash his check. He recalled that as he exited the store, he was about to insert his key into his truck's ignition when someone walked up behind him and said, "'Give me your wallet.'" The victim turned around and observed a silver-plated .357 handgun aimed at his head. The victim complied with the gunman's order, and the gunman instructed the victim to get into his truck. The gunman threatened, "'[L]ook straight ahead or [I'll] f* * * * * * kill [you].'" The victim stated that the contents of his wallet included $191 in cash, two debit cards, his social security card, his voter registration card, and some photographs. He said he turned over his property because he "had a pistol pointed at [his] head, and [he] feared for his life." He clarified that he was certain of the caliber of the handgun based on his two tours of duty with the United States Marine Corps. The ...

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